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It's hard to say when labour actually started for me. On Thursday, March 31st, I started having tightenings every 3-5 minutes. About every 2nd tightening felt like a mini-contraction. They didn't appear to be getting worse, but I felt like my body was starting to think about gearing up for labour.
Friday, April 1st, I had an OB appointment and tightenings started out that day at every 15 minutes. All of them felt like small contractions, but consistently felt the same and didn't feel stronger as they progressed to every 10 minutes. By the evening, they were every 3 minutes and I could tell they were starting to get a little bit stronger, but I still didn't feel that they were strong enough to call "labour."
I dosed on and off throughout the evening and the contractions would die out when I slept and pick up again when I woke up. Around 1 am, I started having bloody show. Contractions were mild still and I went to sleep and slept for the next 4 1/2 hours. I woke up around 5:30 am, April 2nd a bit dissapointed that I had actually slept. However, as I got up and moved around, those mild contractions started again. At first they were every 7 minutes and then quickly moved on to every 3-4 minutes. They also started to get progressively stronger...although definitely not what I would call painful. I continued to have bloody .
Around 7:30 am, I felt like it was definitely labour, but still early...so I hopped in the bath and got cleaned up while my husband called the doula to give her a heads up. Even though we told her there was no rush, our doula opted to just come over and hang out at our house for a bit and see where things were at. She arrived around 8:30 or so and at this point, contractions were starting to feel a little uncomfortable, but I was happy to laugh and talk in between no problem.
I was supposed to go to the further away hospital to get my water broken that day, since I was 41 weeks and a vbac and carrying a large baby. However, I secretly had hoped all along to pop into the closer hospital at the last minute and deliver there. The far away hospital had told me just to call whenever I got up and around. At 8:30 am, THEY called me and said to come on in. I was still hoping that labour would pick up fast and we wouldn't end up there so I didn't tell them I was in labour, but 5 minutes later they called back and said to wait until tomorrow, because labour and delivery was busy. "Ok!" I said.
Around 10:30 am, things all of a sudden started to get intense. I was on the toilet crying over my husband's shoulder and my doula noticed I was trembling a lot through contractions and really having to focus through them and so she suggested heading to the hospital.
We called ahead to let the local hospital know that we were coming to get checked, because this was my third baby and things seemed to be moving quickly. Well...we found out later from a friend of mine that had her baby the same day, that this threw the entire labour and delivery ward into a tizzy. They looked at my file...started panicking...called in my family doctor and everything.
We arrived at the hospital at 11:45 am. I had to give them a pee sample and while I was on the toilet, my water broke with a pop and a gush. The nurse, my doula, my husband and I were all hopeful that this meant that I had passed the 5 cm mark...if I had, the hospital would NOT try to send me to the bigger far away hospital.
The nurse checked me...I was at 4 cms, fully effaced, but baby was still a little highish. We were all REALLY surprised. I felt like a total wuss...things felt WAY further along than 4 cms to me. The doctor on call gave us some options and in the end made a decision for us. I was going to be transferred by ambulance to the far away hospital, with a nurse and her in there with me. I was terrified, upset, mad at myself for coming into the hospital too soon and CONFUSED because things were, in the meantime, getting SUPER intense.
My husband requested to talk to our family doctor before allowing me to be put in an ambulance, since she is also head of the labour and delivery. In the meantime, I had asked for some laughing gas, because labour was seriously and horribly intense. They wouldn't let me get off the bed, because they insisted on monitoring me and so I was hanging part way backwards off the bed in my husband's lap and moaning deeply like a cow. The nurse or someone checked me, I'm not sure who, and I was at 5-6 cms.
I was totally feeling like a big baby...4-6 cms was NOT supposed to feel this way!!!!!!!!! Also...my body started involuntarily pushing. I was trying desperately NOT to push and my doula was super helpful...she reminded me to hold my chin up so it was harder to push and when I asked her why it felt this way when I was only 4-6 cms, she responded that she was pretty sure I was progressing a lot faster than any of us realised.
I really have no idea what time it was at that point, it wasn't any later than 12:30, I'm pretty sure...since we hadn't been there that long...all I know is that the ambulance stretcher was at the door, my family doctor walked in and my doula informed them that I was involuntarily pushing. So my doctor said, "Go ahead and push!" The doctor on call told me NOT to since I was only at a 5 or something...this part is a bit foggy...I was really enjoying that gas. Then they realised that the baby's head was crowning. I could feel that part, but didn't realise how quick his head must have come out, because then the doctor on call hollered for my family doctor because his shoulders were stuck. Keep in mind, I was still flat on my back hanging off the side of the bed. They enlisted my husband to crank my feet up, pried the gas out of my hands and told me to push the shoulders out NOW.
That was the only push I actually gave...the doctor had her hands up there and pulled his shoulders loose and out he came at 12:41 pm...less than an hour from when we had arrived.
He was covered in meconium and needed some suctioning to get him started...so I didn't get that "on the chest" delayed cord cutting birth I was hoping for and this hospital routinely does. But my family doctor was the one that looked after him and she was sooo relaxed and calm about it, that I didn't even feel worried about how he was.
I delivered the placenta super quickly, but my body still felt like it needed to push, so they gave me a dose of fentanyl through the heplock they had put in when I got there, so that I could calm down enough to meet Micaiah properly. He was beautiful and a HUGE 11 pounds 1 ounce and 21.5 inches long.
The doctor on call said, "THANK GOODNESS we didn't put you in that ambulance and thank goodness you didn't try to drive to the other hospital." So, even though she was freaking out a bit before and during the birth, she was ecstatic about the results and didn't hold any grudges for us having shown up there!!
I didn't need any stitches, which was lovely and Micaiah never left my side. We went home the next day and I'm already healed completely down there. My recovery this time was soooo much easier this time!
We originally planned on naming him Micaiah John David, but he was born on the birthday of my brother-in-law, Mark, so my husband asked if we could name him Micaiah John Mark instead...and so that is his name.
We feel incredibly blessed to have him here safe and sound!
Abigail-Mama to Landon, Layla and Micaiah
I had to chuckle about the hanging off your husband part, I was doing a lot of that with Dave, when I was in the tub but my head on his lap and kind of clutching onto his legs during the contractions. lol I have to wonder what they think when we're in labor.
What's cool about this birth story is that I was sort of there for part of it, when you were posting the early stuff on FB.
Steph mom to Ayla and Elizabeth